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Kart star Lorandi aims for Verstappen-style jump after F3 test

Italian karting star Alessio Lorandi could be about to follow in the footsteps of Max Verstappen in the Formula 3 European Championship next season

The 16-year-old set the fastest time with Van Amersfoort Racing in three of the four sessions on the opening day of this week's F3 test at Valencia, which is not an official test.

Lorandi had his first F3 run with VAR several weeks ago at Lausitz, before accumulating mileage in several Formula Renault 2.0 tests (pictured above). Since then he has been back out with VAR at Silverstone and Barcelona.

Team boss Frits van Amersfoort said: "We don't have an agreement yet, but I'm very happy with what he did today."

Conditions were wet all day at Valencia, with a dry line beginning to appear in the final session - leading to a very brief period when the best times were set - before further rain.

McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award winner George Russell set the quickest time in the first session - the only one not topped by Lorandi - while fellow Briton Sam MacLeod was quick most of the day in the other VAR car but did not set a representative time in the final session.

Lorandi will stand down for Tuesday's running, with ADAC Formel Masters champion Mikkel Jensen joining MacLeod in the VAR roster.

Meanwhile, GP3 ace Marvin Kirchhofer joined the Mucke Motorsport line-up along with ADAC Formel Masters runner-up Maximilian Gunther.

Formula Masters China champion James Munro had an outing in Motopark's German F3-spec car, the New Zealander running alongside the squad's FIA cars.

Other newcomers to the F3 winter test line-ups included Indonesian Anderson Martono (the Formula Masters China racer with Carlin), Indian Mahaveer Raghunathan (the Italian F4 contender with Motopark) and Malaysian Akash Nandy (the Formula Renault ALPS racer in Performance's German F3 car).

Top times from Valencia testing

Pos Driver               Team/Car                             Time
 1. Alessio Lorandi      Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara-VW     1m33.956s
 2. Callum Ilott         Carlin Dallara-VW                    1m34.797s
 3. Gustavo Menezes      Carlin Dallara-VW                    1m35.290s
 4. Marvin Kirchhofer    Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes    1m35.385s
 5. Maximilian Gunther   Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes    1m35.418s
 6. Tatiana Calderon     Carlin Dallara-VW                    1m35.601s
 7. Arjun Maini          Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes   1m36.015s
 8. Santino Ferrucci     Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes    1m36.057s
 9. Matt Solomon         Double R Racing Dallara-Mercedes     1m36.274s
10. George Russell       Carlin Dallara-VW                    1m36.299s

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